The Typhoon was the RAF's heavyweight fighter-bomber of choice to support the British and Canadian armies during the invasion of northwest Europe. In this book Chris Thomas extols the great importance of the Typhoon wings in the ultimate Allied victory in Europe. He describes their destruction of German radar in the lead-up to D-Day, the use of large-scale rocket projectiles in land battles and pinpoint attacks on German command and control centres, which crippled the Wehrmacht's ability to respond quickly to Allied troop movements. But not everything went smoothly for the Typhoon wings. Their epic battle with highly effective German flak installations prompted Air Chief Marshal Sir Harry Broadhurst to remark 'I suppose that flying one of these aircraft was the most dangerous task the Air Force has ever asked anybody to do'.
The Typhoon was the RAF's chosen heavyweight fighter-bomber to support the British and Canadian Armies during the invasion of northwest Europe in World War II (1939-1945). A specialist in the aircraft (his father flew them in WWII), author Chris Thomas has done much research on the Typhoon's operations with 2nd TAF during this crucial period of the war. His research reveals for the first time the extent, and chronology, of the struggle to equip 18 RAF and RCAF squadrons in time for D-Day, and how this feat was only narrowly achieved. These 18 squadrons (later increased to 20) were organised into highly mobile, self-supporting wings that provided devastating close support for the British and Canadian armies in their advance across northwest Europe. Thomas' book analyzes the tactics employed by the Typhoon squadrons during these epic events, supported by the words of the pilots themselves. These battles were by no means one-sided, with the Typhoons' nemesis - the highly effective German flak units - exacting a terrible toll on 2nd TAF units. Indeed, some 400 aircraft and 150 pilots were lost during the Normandy campaign alone. Losses such as these led Air Chief Marshal Sir Harry Broadhurst, Air Officer Commanding 83 Group (which controlled more than half of 2nd TAF's Typhoon squadrons), to remark 'I suppose that flying one of these aircraft was the most dangerous task the Air Force has ever asked anybody to do'. Along with photographs and diagrams, the book includes artwork by the author as well, making for a comprehensive and authoritative guide.
This book traces the achievements of the pilots flying the iconic Spitfire in Northwest Europe, and examines how the steady technological improvements that were made throughout the Spitfire's service life improved its capabilities in the air. Based at airfields throughout southern England, Merlin engine Spitfires provided the bulk of the air cover for the D-Day landings and it was an RCAF Spitfire which claimed the first ever ME 262 jet kill. 36 colour profiles covering a broad spectrum of nationalities, units, pilots, theatres and markings complement thorough research throughout this comprehensive account of these crucial fighter aircraft.
“At last a book has been written that forensically examines how the British Armed Forces fought its way through Normandy . . . utterly absorbing.” —James Holland, bestselling author of Brothers in Arms Stout Hearts is a book which offers an entirely new perspective on the British Army in Normandy. This fresh study explores the anatomy of war through the Army’s operations in the summer of 1944, informing and entertaining the general nonfiction reader as well as students of military history. There have been so many books written on Normandy that the publication of another one might appear superfluous. However most books have focused on narrating the conduct of the battle, describing the factors that influenced its outcome, or debating the relative merits of the armies and their generals. What was missing from the existing body of work on Normandy specifically and the Second World War generally is a book that explains how an army actually operates in war and what it was like for those involved; Stout Hearts fills this gap. Stout Hearts is essential reading for those who wish to understand the “mechanics” of battle. How does an Army care for its wounded? How do combat engineers cross obstacles? How do tanks fight? How do Air and Naval Forces support the Army? But to understand what makes an Army “tick” you must also understand its people. Therefore explanations of tactics and techniques are not only well illustrated with excellent photographs and high quality maps but also effectively combined with relevant accounts from the combatants themselves. These dramatic stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things are the strength of the book, bringing the campaign to life and entertaining the reader.
Ian Gooderson presents a study of close air support in World War II, with the analysis focusing on the use of tactical air power by British and American forces during the campaigns in Italy and northwestern Europe between 1943 and 1945.
After being overrun during the early Blitzkrieg in September 1939, and later in France in 1940, the Polish Air Force - flying British and American made fighters and bombers out of England in their own units - made a tremendous contribution to the Allied air victory. The PAFs gallant, lonely fight in September 1939 inflicted the first losses on the mighty Luftwaffe and allowed Britain a nine month grace to strengthen her air defenses. Their part in the Battle of Britain became legend, and its contribution to the early RAF bomber offensive on Germany was equally great. PAF exploits over Dieppe, North Africa, and during the invasion of Europe received special commendations from the RAF. This two volume set is the result of years' painstaking research of the official RAF and PAF documentation, and is fully supported by the Polish Air Force Association. After a brief introduction to the PAF's formative years and to the political background to the war itself, the factors shaping PAF operations in Great Britain and to the abandonment by Britain of her most faithful ally are discussed. The book also provides a wealth of information about all PAF squadrons, their participation in operations, the great variety of aircraft flown by the PAF - Hurricanes, Spitfires, Mustangs, Warhawks, Mosquitoes, Lancasters, Wellingtons, Bostons, Liberators and many others - their achievements and disappointments, victories, and losses. These are supplemented by operational statistics in detailed appendices, lists, charts, maps and over 700 black and white and color photographs, and color profiles. Volume 1 covers: the origins of Polish aviation; the air war against the Luftwaffe during the initial Blitzkrieg; the air battles over France and the formation of the Polish squadrons; the establishment and development of the PAF squadrons in Britain after the battles in France; the Battle of Britain; PAF units over Dieppe and North Africa; expansion of the PAF and operations in 1941-1943; and PAF bomber squadrons and bomber operations 1940-1943.
From 1942 onward, members of the Royal Canadian Air Force were equipped first with Typhoons, then with the awesome Tempest, one of the most advanced fighters of the day. Includes detailed descriptions of squadron life.
Coastal Command, created in 1936 alongside Fighter and Bomber Commands in the reorganization of the RAF in its preparations for the coming war, was Britain’s mainstay in the battle against the German submarine. As more and more Allied merchantmen were sunk during the long voyage from North America, the Mediterranean, and points south, tracking down the U-Boats became a constant struggle against harsh weather on long-distance patrols out over the Atlantic and Bay of Biscay. To counter the threat, Coastal Command established a ring of bases stretching from Scotland and Northern Ireland to Iceland, and from south Wales and south-western Britain to Gibraltar and the Azores, all 53 of these stations are covered in this book.
A revised collection of the biographies of the highest scoring Allied fighter pilots of World War II. All details of their combat are arranged in tabular form. Included are a selection of photographs from hitherto private collections.
A Nation at War brings together a collection of sixty-two essays covering all aspects of the Canadian experience in the Second World War. It is a readable and authoritative introduction to both the historical narrative and the interpretive debates by the best selling author of Fields of Fire and Cinderella Army. Published by the Laurier Centre for Military, Strategic and Disarmament Studies and distributed by Wilfrid Laurier University Press.